Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, a fighter for immigration reform, holds out hope for Donald Trump. Maybe.
“I was raised not to call people a racist on the theory it’s hard for them to be rehabilitated once you’ve said that,” Bennet said on “Meet the Press” Sunday, when he was asked by host Chuck Todd if the president is a racist.
“But there is no question what he said was racist. There’s no question what he said is unAmerican and completely unmoored from the facts.”
Bennet cited his family’s immigration to the U.S. as Polish Jews and the hardworking immigrants in Colorado.
“I think he has no idea what he’s talking about,” Bennet said.
Bennet was on the NBC news show to discuss the pending but dimming prospects for Dreamers who could face deportation because of Washington politics.
The Democrat from Denver told Todd that the compromise provides President Trump with some money for a border wall and border security — $1.6 billion and $1.1 billion, respectively — in exchange for offering good people brought to the U.S. as children a pathway to citizenship.
Trump is asking for $18 billion over the next decade to pay for 316 miles of wall along the 2,000 border with Mexico.
Sunday morning Bennet waged a finger at intransigent Republicans who five years ago bottled up a comprehensive immigration reform package that Bennet and seven other Democrats and Republicans, called the Gang of Eight, passed out of the Senate.
“If the House had ever put it on the floor (it) would have passed, and I think we wouldn’t be in all the nonsense we’re in now,” Bennet said.
That bipartisan bill included $40 billion for border security, Bennet said.
“This idea that Democrats somehow aren’t interested in border security is demonstrably false,” he said. “We should just stop talking about it and get on with it.”
Todd pointed out that leading Democrats want a renewed Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals bill debated separately from border security, but Bennet suggested they aren’t being realistic.
He called the bipartisan solution on the table a “principled compromise.”
“I think it’s a recognition that unfortunately the Republicans have a majority in the House, the Republicans have a majority in the Senate, and we have a Republican president who doesn’t seem to appreciate the contributions immigrants make to this country,” he said.